Monday, June 22, 2009

Lightning strikes again

A tree outside my studio door was struck last Tuesday evening. I was in the process of turning everything off when it hit. So the ordeal begins again, this happened last fall almost the same spot. New phones, new alarm system, rebuild computer, new modem and router, new land line...We have a surge protector on the whole house and surge protectors on computers. My computer is on a hi-speed connection so has an actual wire attaching it to the internet cable. This is how it damaged my computer, not through the electric connection. So be forewarned if you are using dial-up use a surge protector that has a phone connection too. If you know of a protector for ethernet please let me know. This is getting very old. Living in Florida, the lighting strike capital of the world we are careful. This is not the pretty heat lightning, this is very violent and dangerous stuff. It was snapping around our house in the trees for about 20 minutes. It was long and pretty scary. BUT we still had electricity and therefore air conditioning. After hurricane seasons without this was a breeze. Relatively speaking.
I am off my computer for a few more days then it should be wired and transmitting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden sketch

Still trying to work on the painting a day idea...this is from a photo of the garden in early spring.It looks like a sketch to me. The piece is acrylic on layout board. Board is covered in gray gesso. Outlines are done with those gelly roll pens that I love.

Friday, June 12, 2009

It ain't over...

This week I decided to venture into a new world. That of water aerobics. Several months ago I tore tendons in my right arm. It still hurts when I lift anything of any weight. So...I have been trying to figure out a new approach to healing. That explains why I have joined the ladies and gentlemen of the early aquarobics class. This morning we had a different teacher. Things were going along pretty well, good workout, warm water...then she said,"Find a partner." Probably the two scariest words in the English language when you are in an exercise class of any description. Scarier when she says the men won't like this...merde. She turned on waltz music and we were told to waltz with hands in the air toward our partner, high five and go back to our side of the pool, repeat with holding each others' hands in the air and making circles, repeat with elbows locked in a square dance pose. We were laughing out of total horror. One man found an adorable little Asian lady. He was swinging her around and around. I think he had looked for an excuse to get his hands on her for a long time. My partner was the little lady with lots of jewelry who couldn't float with the styrofoam noodle. The teacher had to jump in to help her when she kept rolling over facedown. She was a little round and finally with the help of two noodles could do the leg exercises.
I have often taken the birds' eye view of the water aerobics classes from the upstairs weight room. I have thought what great subject matter this would be. Some of you know my history of painting Ladies at the Beach. My first piece(photo above) was in college, an acrylic assignment. I am not sure how I came up with it, but by the time it was finished one of the ladies looked like my favorite waitress, Mary, at the Torch diner. It was the restaurant where students could drink endless cups of coffee, get great breakfasts and grilled cheese for little money and be waited on by surrogate moms...
Things go full circle, now I am in one of my paintings. I am realizing a canvas isn't large enough to hold these stories. We'll see 'cause it ain't over...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Love those "gelly rolls"

After reading several blogs and seeing the daily painting idea come up several times I have decided to give it a try. I was looking for small pieces of illustration board when I found some layout board from long past days as a graphic designer. Yes, the old cut and paste grids. After a coat of grey gesso the board had some tooth and body. I painted in a loose floral and some blue birds. This was something I could see outside my studio window. After the paint had dried I went in with a black gelly roll pen and did some line work for definition. This is the part I like the most, decorating the piece.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I am happy to report our kitchen is being taken over by tomatoes from the garden. We have lived in Florida for 10 years and can attest to the fact that the worst soil in the nation is here. Our Christmas present to each other last year, a real vegetable garden! I perused the web and found a tomato seed site, All I wanted was Creole Tomato seeds to try to copy what I grew up with in Lousiana. We started the seeds in January in little peat forward 6 months, drought, wind, freezes, and torrential rains later and we have an assortment of tomatoes. They took 10 years to grow, but "om om."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Studio Landscape

I began a painting for the summer show using the view from my studio window as inspiration. Somehow a transformation took place and the finished piece looked like a view of a savannah or desert. I was trying to analyze how this happened and realized I often am guided by color. If I have just painted a purple sky I look for something to make it livelier (I just can't use the word "pop"). The reds are next to the purples, the blue and orange together. I at first thought it was a complimentary color combination, but I see that isn't accurate at all. Pictured is the view from the window and the piece now hanging in the Gallery on First.
This view was a jumping off point as opposed to the painting being a copy of what I see. In looking at my paintings you will see that is true of most of them.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Graduation, visitors, family, gallery opening, parties have all come and gone. Incredible memories are still with me:
1.the faculty clapping for the students as they exited the auditorium with the bells ringing
2.child after child joining the line for photos
3.the man who made ice cream to order with liquid nitrogen (really)
4.taking my sister to the airport
5.wishing my daughter could be home for the summer like the old days
6.realizing how many great friends we have
7.the gallery filled with cheerful people supporting their friends and enjoying the art. Thank you friends, old and new, for taking your Saturday evening to join us.
8.trying to find my way out of the Metropolitan Museum in a time crunch. Going from Van Gogh to Cezanne to Degas looking for the exit and having to leave without looking at each of them.
9.suggestions for new directions.
10.stretching out on the sofa for a day and reviewing the month past.
I am posting two photos to see the transformation one painting made to feel worthy of appearing at the show. She was originally "Mother Nature"(on right). She has become in her own creepy way, "Blue Birds."